Lack of Lights in Van Ness Gym Leaves School in the Dark 

By Suzannah Christian, staff writer

During the summer of 2017 the Van Ness gym received a facelift, which included new paint, new heaters and a brand new set of lights. However only 2 short years later, the gym lights are causing problems as half the lights are no longer stay on, continually turning off every 30-45 minutes, making half the gym completely dark, depending on the time of day. 

According to athletic director Mr. Keough, Galileo has submitted multiple maintenance requests to the school district to get the Van Ness Gym lights fixed. The maintenance and facilities departments really came out to look at the lights, but  have not made it clear what the exact problem is or when it will be fixed.

“All of the Galileo staff — coaches, teachers, PE and athletic departments, and administration — have been working to resolve the issue. The dark, lightless gym definitely poses safety concerns for athletics in the evening and PE classes on dark, gloomy days. If students, parents, and teachers also feel that this is a safety concern, I encourage them to fill out a Williams Complaint and submit it,” said, Mr Keough.

Not having complete working lights in the gym has had the most effect on some of the school’s sports teams. Since daylight savings ended, in particular the basketball teams, have had a difficult time practicing. Coaches have had to end practice much earlier than usual because it’s so hard for the players to see. 

Not only have practices ended early, but at least 2 preseason games have already been cancelled. The coaches are worried that if the lights aren’t fixed, the teams will have to find another place to play all of their home games during the season, starting in January. “It is very difficult to practice because the lights flicker. We’ve had to cancel games and it hurts us in preparation for the season. We asked them to fix it and they haven’t. The district should at least tell us where else we can play,” said varsity boys basketball coach, Mark Huynh.

Not only are the coaches unhappy about the lights, but the players have also voiced their concerns about the lights. “The school should fix it. It affects our practice and draws away our attention. Nothing has happened because our season hasn’t started yet but it’s still a possibility,” says junior Chole S, a girls varsity player. Boys varsity player, junior Wilson S. added, “It sucks to cancel home games due to no gym light and kinda messes up our preparation. We hope the school fixes it before the regular season starts in January.”

Other basketball players recognize a lack of lights in the gym can be a problem beyond just the basketball teams. Varsity player, juniors Susan L. said, “It’s not just affecting us, the people in badminton that play after us can be affected, even PE classes.”

In the end, it’s not only the inconvenience that the lack of lights brings, but also what it says about the school. Girl’s varsity basketball coach, Matt Allen, said, “Galileo is an old, very good school with lots of great traditions and it is a shame we don’t give this impression to visiting teams who only see our gym and see it in its current unrepaired state.”

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